Posts tagged: jesus
I did not go out looking for this article. It found me on Tumblr. Someone blogged it. I do not read Hugh Hefner’s magazine. Please believe me, I long to be above reproach and this article was blogged, right where you yourself are seeing the link.
However, he has some insightful things to say. I do not agree with what he says necessarily (nor am I endorsing him or his lifestyle), but it is an insightful picture. Especially since the church down played sex for so long. We made it naughty and only for procreation – despite their being an entire book of the Bible dedicated to the joy and pleasure of sex in a healthy, monogamous marriage between a man and a woman. God could have created anyway for us to procreate and reproduce the human race, however he designed it in such a way for us to feel great pleasure.
He gave us the gift of sex.
It is not to be abused.
This is where Hefner gets it awry. He wants anything and everything. But in this instance, these words of his to Americans have some value:
Nearly 50 years ago in the pages of this magazine I warned that “when religion rather than reason dictates legislation, do not expect logic with your law.” Today, in every instance of sexual rights falling under attack, you’ll find legislation forced into place by people who practice discrimination disguised as religious freedom. Their goal is to dehumanize everyone’s sexuality and reduce us to using sex for the sole purpose of perpetuating our species. To that end, they will criminalize your entire sex life.
This is a religious nation, but it is also a secular one. For decades the American people have found a way to balance religious beliefs with secular freedoms. We have enjoyed freedom of religion as well as freedom from religion. These need not be incompatible. No one should have to subjugate their religious freedom, and no one should have their personal freedoms infringed. This is America and we must protect the rights of all Americans.
Church, I long for us to have healthy, loving conversations about sexuality that point people to Jesus. Do you think we can do this? Do you think we can effectively engage with those who don’t know Jesus when they think we are old fuddy-duddies who hate sex?
Jesus would hang out with Hugh Hefner. Jesus would hang out with those who have been oppressed. The church needs to reclaim the art of spending our time with those who are oppressed. How can we ever dream of ending oppression and having them encounter Jesus if we don’t hang out with them?
My sister brilliantly summed it up in her Facebook status:
Finally figured out how to put into words why the Chick-fil-A stuff made me upset today. As a follower of Jesus we are never once told to defend our rights, but we’re repeatedly told to love our neighbors - how do these pro-Chick-fil-A rallies make us look to the LGBT community?
But it got me thinking even more.
I love Jesus of Nazareth. He is Messiah. He is Lord. He is King. He is God incarnate, God with us. Understanding this makes me a Disciple - I follow in His footsteps and learn at His feet. I am constantly on a journey learning how to best put my faith into practice as He makes me more and more into the man He has made me to be, allowing His views, His thoughts, to be the ones which shape my journey and life - not my own.
Doing this is easier said then done.
I am not perfect.
No disciple is.
We are all in process.
Those outside the church call us hypocrites.
Sadly, I cannot disagree with them. All I can do is agree with them and say, "Yes, I don’t always get it right and for that I’m sorry. Please forgive me because I do not always act, think, look like and say what Jesus would say." I think this means I’m not a hypocrite - or at least I hope.
Being an American means I have the right to free speech and thought. Paul even asks me to be subject to the government (Romans 13). God also tells the prophet Jeremiah this:
Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
God tells His people to love their city well. Love their neighbors. Seek their good. Does this sound like Romans 13 yet?
Jesus Himself eats with the most “vile”, unreligious people of His day - tax collectors. Meanwhile, the ones Jesus rebukes were the religious leaders of his day (Matthew 23). Jesus, to answer a question tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Jesus in His infinite wisdom teaches the greatest sermon ever, the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) where He turns the world upside down, where He shows His followers what it means to be a disciple. In this legendary discourse He says: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
I have a simple question - was this protest or rally, or whatever it was, a way of loving their enemy?
Would Jesus have gone to Chick-Fil-A today?
Would Jesus get into Facebook fights over Chick-Fil-A?
I’m not here to argue politics or free speech - honestly, I don’t really care. I don’t believe those matter as a disciple of Jesus. If my government one day takes away my free speech, or freedom of religion, it is still my responsibility to stand up for the Gospel. I am an American and a Disciple, however, when the two do not overlap, I leave my American at the door.
Do I agree with Chick-Fil-A? Honestly, for me it doesn’t matter. What I know, is we are called to be "salt" and "light" (Matthew 5:13-16). We are called to be
a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people, once you had not recieved mercy, but now you have recieved mercy… Keep your conduct among the Gentiles (non-disciples) honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:9-10, 12
So I ask you, how as disciples should we react to Chick-Fil-A? Do we join the boycott? Do we give them unflinching support? Or, maybe do we let this oppressed community know we love them, care about them and long for their best? We view them as people, not objects. We view them as human beings, not horrible sinners. We view them in the same light as anyone else, if anything, the thing we should be concerned with is not their sexual orientation, but whether or not they have encountered Jesus and the Gospel yet.
As a disciple I have not arrived. I still sin. I still have my junk I’m dealing with. Jesus never once asked His disciples to fix themselves before they follow Him. The last thing I want to do is make the Gospel more offensive then it is. I mean, who likes being told they aren’t Lord of their own universe? Who likes being told they are sinners and imperfect? Who likes being told they are living their lives for things which in the end have no worth?
Love them. Pray for them. Don’t persecute them. Heck, if anything, get to know them. Take one of them to Chcik-Fil-A (they do make some mean waffle fries) and get to know them, hear their story and see who they are. They are not enemies.
Maybe I’m right; maybe I’m wrong?
Fascinating insight into this whole conflict of hyper-macho christianity…
In class today, we were studying ecclesiology. We were naming off the words used to describe the church. One off the list was in Acts the early church is called "the Way". So I asked the professor, were this description fits.
He included this in a different aspect - because it is only used a handful of times. But, when Luke is describing this - he is pointing back to the Old Testament and the wisdom literature’s notion of wisdom. In the wisdom literature, there is always two paths - the way of the wise or the way of the fool. "The Way" in Acts, refers to the body of believers as the way of wisdom.
Also, fun fact, the Orthodox cross, that slanting portion on the bottom - is an illustration of their being two ways: the way up and the way down - all centered on the cross of Jesus.
Yes, this is what I find fascinating.
I wonder how this represents the Gospel and the Kingdom?
If you were or are a non-Christian, would this help you encounter Jesus or hurt?
I am a go getter. I am a type “A” personality. I am an “achiever”. I am a man with a plan. I run hard; I move fast; I move deliberately. There are not a whole lot of things which can keep me from pushing after what God calls me to do.
I feel most alive, when I am busy; I am most productive when I am busy with a full plate.
Yet, even for us sometimes we find our limits.
There are seasons where you can get by with scraping by. I don’t like those seasons. I like thriving. I want the best, not adequate or even good. The best.
This season I am jumping into is one I think I’ll be able to thrive in. I know the way I’m wired. I know how I work. I know how God has uniquely created and wired me. Now, I get to live it out.
As this season develops, I will get to run hard and be productive with my hands holding several different shovels. It is going to be good. Not just good - the best. Yet, in the now, I’m not running fully. I get to wait. I get to sit. I get to pray. I get to anticipate.
I get to learn to wait expectantly. I get to expect my God to speak again. I get to learn to anticipate His moving.
Now, in the moment, I will sit at my Savior’s feet and wait for Him to lead me again.
this sign, like many, is only partially true. yet, there is power in what it says in ways it can speak life into the church.
Jesus, hung out with the unlovable - lepers, tax collectors, prostitutes, Gentiles. those many of us avoid. He made the religious people uncomfortable in how He lived His life.
do you make the religious people uncomfortable as you journey in discipleship?
let us extend our walls and our hearts to those that Jesus loved.
[a man in a grey t-shirt wearing sunglasses holding a sign: “Jesus hung out with 12 guys and a prostitute. He was more like me than you.”]
Jesus is everywhere in our culture. Everywhere. We just need to keep our eyes open to find opportunities to talk about Jesus.
"I hold my life loosely so You can hold it tight."
A couple of months back, when I was wrestling with God through life, me and Him were having a conversation. In this conversation He reminded me of the phrase I cling to as the earth spins - "hold your life loosely". Then He added to it the idea how I practice this not because I do anything, but because by holding my life loosely, I see I don’t need to hold it tightly because God is already doing that.
Holding my life loosely allows me to see how tight God is holding my life.
I think this is beautiful.
I am made free by this.
I am opened up to take holy, Jesus shaped risks when I live out this truth.
Now, after months of seeking and praying, my life has been laid open before me. I have let go. Of course my God has been faithful. Did I ever anticipate anything else?
For the duration of this I have been marinating on the Psalms. I have been using these honest, prayer poems to guide my time with Jesus.
To let honesty flow.
Community has stepped in to help me go to work on my soul. They have dug my trench with me and have not left. They have brought healing and life.
I am ready. My life is held tightly by His grasp. I will step out in holy risk.
This is a great blogging website. This is fun post.
I was 14 years old. I knew it was a big deal. I was old enough to know what happened, but young enough to still not know how life had changed. I don’t know if anyone truly knew how much life and culture had changed.
My generation, those of us who are truly post-moderns, Generation Y, had no idea what this was about to usher in. We were too young to know about the Cold War. We were living in a life where our parents told us we could do whatever we wanted, the world was our footstool and we had nothing to worry about.
On 9/11/01 that view of life changed forever.
The culture my generation grew up in changed forever.
Our normal was wrecked.
For some, those of us who were teenage to twentysomething males, the draft became a very real possibility in our future. When one begins to realize this, it becomes a very sobering thought.
Yet, when 9/11 happened our culture, my generation, was changed for the better. Yes, that sounds weird, but it’s true.
It made us question life, faith and God. Whether you knew Jesus, hated Jesus or were indifferent - 9/11 made you stop and think. At the same time, this event deeply entrenched post-modernism into our fabric. This questioning, this longing for something more out of our lives, was helped set into stone because of 9/11.
In the coming years since that fateful day in America, we have seen many more horrible events that have defined my generation. From the economy, to Katrina to the Wars - America has changed. Today, as opposed to 10 years ago, America has a visible need for the Gospel to be relevant.
I’m thankful this.
As a man who lives in the heart of affluence in Orange County, it can be real difficult to embody the Gospel to people who have no practical or visible spiritual need for it. But, 10 years later, there is a bigger need for the Gospel then when we first began.
I’m so thankful one day, the now and not yet will be fulfilled. I’m so thankful one day Jesus will come back and the pain and sorrow our world is in will stop. I’m so grateful Jesus is bigger then anything else. I’m so amazed at how Jesus can bring healing. I’m so thankful I get to live in this world and be an administrator and ambassador for God’s life and grace.